Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Micronesia: Ups and Downs!

Not quite done yet - but getting there!

First, the good news.
Palau appears to be doing really well, this at least according to this well-researched article which I invite everybody to read. And, Yap and Pohnpei are well on their way to declaring national Shark Sanctuaries, leaving only Chuuk the odd man out when it comes to creating an awesome regional Micronesian Shark sanctuary .

The bad news being that other Sanctuaries are very much at risk.
Yes I'm of course talking about the threat by NOAA/the NMFS to overturn the Shark fin bans, and about the unholy role WESPAC is playing in the Pacific where on top of  holding sway in the Polynesian American Samoa and Hawaii, they also dictate what happens in the CNMI and in Guam.

And lemme tell you, it looks grim.
After my lasts posts about WESPAC, my inbox got swamped with mail from the islands spilling the beans on the dealings of the council and its members.
The writers are people of stature and I have no reason to doubt their testimonies, the more as the modus operandi appears to be uniformly the same: widespread corruption and cronyism, a general anti-research and anti-conservation agenda but above all, playing the indigenous card by creating a narrative of them against us - whilst at the same time brazenly milking the system in the certitude that the big  honchos in DC will always be too politically correct and spineless to ever ask for any accountability from those self-appointed indigenous leaders.
But of course and albeit being highly plausible, that's ultimately just unsubstantiated hearsay, the more as many of the witnesses are equally too intimidated to stand up in public.

But fear not, there are never the less some people with cojones!
When it comes to Hawaii, WESPAC and the unpalatable Kitty Simonds, you may want to read this (3. The Pacific Resolution ff) - this - this (un-f-believable!!!) - this - this (by indigenous bloggers!) and especially, this!!!
Bravo Patricia Tummons of Environment Hawaii!

And then there's Guam.
Please read Timbo's description of Manny Duenas here.
But now comes the shocking part - Duenas has just been appointed to the Department of Agriculture (that controls fisheries), and the comments already rejoice that he's gonna help restore the oceans back to local hands!
Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop - and is anybody taking bets on his position regarding the overturning of the Guam Shark fin ban?

The question being.
Why are the mainstream investigative journalists not picking this up, and why is NOAA not investigating?

Like i said, this is the moment to make a stand.
Sign the petitions where the deadline is likely to be extended. - action alerts by Shark Savers here and by Shark Defenders here!
And if you live in the islands, make your voices heard.

It's your ocean, not theirs - and it's about time somebody told them!

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